If you've recently seen a personal stylist or an image consultant for a colour consultation, you are now in the enviable position of knowing just which colours look amazing on you, and you should have a palette of colours that all work together that you can start to build your wardrobe around. Am I right? You may well have been told you are a particular season, or you may have been given some descriptive words to help understand your colours (such as warm and soft, or deep and bright).
But how do you get started on this new and wonderful colour journey? What should you do first, and how do you put your new colours together? Most importantly, when you're putting an outfit together, how do you mix your colours, and how many colours should you wear at any one time?
A wonderful question!
It's really easy to overdose on colour, especially when you've just had a consultation and are feeling really excited about all these wonderful new colour combinations. The effect can end up looking overwhelming, which might lead you to give up on the whole idea and head back to the safety of the colours you used to wear. Similarly to not wear enough colour can leave an outfit feeling a bit flat. So how do you find a perfect balance, and which colours might be good to focus on first?
1. Think about your neutrals.
You've got several colours that go with everything and act as the basis of your wardrobe:
If you're a WINTER or a COOL, DEEP and CLEAR, your neutrals are black, white, navy and grey:
If you're a SPRING or a WARM, LIGHT, and CLEAR, your neutrals are more around creams, tans and bright navy:
If you're a SUMMER or a COOL, LIGHT, and SOFT, your neutrals are soft white, navy and greys:
If you are an AUTUMN, or a WARM, DEEP and SOFT, your neutrals are browns, beiges and dark greens:
Your neutrals will form the basis of your wardrobe, and so are worth being pieces you're investing in. Neutrals also are good choices for shoes and boots because your neutrals are colours that just GO with everything.
2. Consider the rule of 3
When putting colours together, think about the Rule of 3. 3 is a number that comes up time and time again in creative and design pursuits, and is no different for assembling an outfit. Sticking to a maximum of 3 colours in an outfit means that you'll get maximum impact of the colours you're choosing, and you won't be in danger of colour overdosing. It applies to every element of an outfit, so think about your outfit plus accessories and try to keep to a maximum of 3 colours.
Now play! A good way to start is to begin with a neutral and then choose 2 other colours to put with it. Need some inspiration? Have a look at some of the Kettlewell colour combinations to get you started. Notice how each combination includes a neutral? Getting to grips with your neutrals makes it so much easier to explore and experiment with your other colours.
Now you understand the rule of 3, it should help when choosing items at the shops. Your boldest or most striking colours could be included in a simple scarf, top or necklace, while your pieces that you want to wear with everything might be best in neutral colours. If you're thinking of wearing a print, that's great. But with a print, keep everything else as simple as possible, perhaps just using one other colour, or matching a colour from the print. What are your favourite colours? How can you combine that and follow the rule of 3? Remember, wearing a 'great' colour close to your face does absolute wonders for how you look, and encourages others to look at the bit of you we want them to focus on - your face! And don't forget, that this is simply a principle to follow, not an unbreakable vow. If your outfit has 4 colours in it but looks great, don't think "I can't wear it because of the rule of 3!", just go with your own instinct and use the rule of 3 as a guide to get you started.
If you haven't have a colour consultation, but are thinking this might be a great idea, click on my services page to read more about what's involved. If you've had a colour consultation, but would like a regular dose of ideas and inspiration tailored for you, then you might like Club V, a personal styling service that delivers weekly inspiration to your inbox. Just drop me a line and I'll be happy to send you more details.
Do share with me your favourite colour combinations, I'd love to see what you come up with!